How can we help you?
Patient education is an essential part of the services we provide at Bethlehem Town Family Dental. When you understand the impact that your oral health can have on your life, you’re more likely to be proactive about dental care.
Nobody expects you to know everything about dentistry, which is why we’re available to answer all your questions. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make important decisions when the time comes. All the answers below are written by our team instead of some template that is used by hundreds of other dental offices.
Crowns & Bridges
There are a few options to replace a tooth or multiple teeth:
Flippers or Partial Dentures
The most economical option would be to make a flipper to replace a few teeth or a partial denture to replace multiple teeth and areas. Flippers are usually used as a temporary solution while patient explores other options. Flippers will help greatly with the look by filling the missing space with denture teeth so it appears as if you are not missing a tooth. However, it's not meant for heavy chewing or grinding food.
Partial dentures are designed to replace teeth more permanently with stronger retention and better fit. The denture will grab onto teeth that are next to the missing space and fill the missing space with denture teeth. Partial dentures will be great for both the look and chewing food. Flipper and partial dentures are both removable so patient must remove them at night before sleep. Please visit our partial denture page for more information about the material selection.
Bridges have often been the most optimal choice in the past prior to implants. Bridges can be a good choice if you wish to replace 1 or 2 teeth, but as the bridge gets longer, the risk for problems can increase. The main problem with bridge is the requirement to cut teeth next to the missing space down to a smaller size so we can properly insert the bridge. If teeth next to the space already need crowns or have large fillings, this may indicate the use of a bridge.
However, if the teeth next to the space are healthy teeth that never had any dental work done, bridges will not be a great choice. Bridges are also hard to keep clean because it's a connected piece so cleaning under the bridge can be challenging. Bridges are a fixed option so it will stay in the mouth without having to take it in and out. There are multiple criteria we screen for prior to suggesting a bridge and we welcome you to come in for a consultation.
Implants have become the best option to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth in the recent decade due to the advancement of implant technology. While implants can become very confusing and requires multiple steps, the end result is much better than any other options available at the moment. The treatment plan for implants will involve a surgeon (oral surgeon or periodontist) that places the titanium screw into the bone and after adequate healing we, will place the abutment and implant crown onto the implant screw. For details of how the implant procedure work, please visit our implant page for more information.
Implants can easily be cleaned and do not require us to cut an adjacent tooth. Once implants are completed it will feel like your own tooth and you don't have to worry about getting more cavities on this implant tooth. The set back for patients to receive this treatment has primarily due to cost. However, with payment plans such as Care Credit and insurance companies coverage, its popularity has continued to climb in the recent years. Please contact us to set up a consultation appointment as we are more than happy to continue this discussion. Implant is a fixed option so it will stay in the mouth without the need to take it in and out.
The idea behind same day crowns is awesome and we are very excited about the concept behind this technology. However, there are major drawbacks based on the technology that is available today with same day crowns and we have outlined our concerns below:
Drawbacks to Same-Day Crown Technology
The technology behind same-day crowns is unable to effectively use the latest dental materials such as Zirconia. Zirconia material was recently introduced and have shown to have much stronger strength while maintaining good esthetics when compared to other dental materials. Due to its strength, we are also able to make it thinner so we don't have to cut down as much tooth structure. Zirconia material requires several hours of firing inside an oven to achieve its regular strength and esthetic. Unless you would like to camp and do a sleepover inside a dental office, it's not feasible to wait several hours.
The zirconia crowns that are fabricated under same-day crown technology had to find compromises to shorten the wait time. By reducing the firing time inside the oven significantly, Zirconia material will lose strength and/or esthetics. We can also choose other dental materials for same day crown, but they are not as strong as zirconia and require us to cut down more of your teeth.
We Won't Compromise on Your Dental Care
We have not adopted the same day crown technology because we do not want to compromise on the strength or esthetic of our crowns. This is why we use a dental laboratory, who specializes in digital dentistry, to make our crowns. They receive the scan we take from our intra-oral scanner, design the crown or bridge, and go through the necessary time it takes to fabricate the beautiful and strong crown or bridge, which could be several hours. This allows us to provide our patients with the best dental product available today.
Let us be clear that we love new technology and we are intrigued by the same day crown concept, but we refuse to compromise on our dental work for convenience. If a new technology emerges in the future that can utilize zirconia or other new dental material efficiently and effectively, we will be more than happy to acquire the technology.